Sydney, 2022-01-27 20:19:39. Stormy Daniels poses in Avenatti’s suit
Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress who was allegedly cheated on by Michael Avenatti, testified Thursday in federal court as part of the criminal trial against the famous lawyer.
Daniels testified that Avenatti said he would get a “big pay” from winning her lawsuit against then US President Donald Trump, and that crowd funding for the legal defense fund they created would cover his costs.
“He lied, cheated on me, broke my trust, and I thought he was my friend,” Daniels said.
Prosecutors allege that Avenatti – who helped negotiate an $800,000 advance for her September 2018 book “Full Disclosure” – defrauded her by instructing her literary agent to send two of the book’s four advance installments totaling approximately $300,000 to an account It is controlled by him, not directly by Daniels.
Prosecutors say he sent a forged letter to the agent with an artificial signature from Daniels that redirected advances from Daniels’ account to another account that he controlled without her knowledge.
Avenatti told her that the publisher mailed a check for Book Two in advance to his office, and so he mailed a check to her account, Daniels reported Thursday.
Trial evidence shows email correspondence in which Avenatti transferred routing information with the literary agent to an attorney-client trust account he controlled through allegations that her signature was fabricated.
Daniels testified that Avenatti never told her about the trust account and did not sign any documents approving those transactions.
Attorney General Robert Sobelman systematically went through months of text messages between Daniels and Avenatti in which she repeatedly asked him about the status of the third installment of her book in advance of nearly $150,000.
In text messages, Avenatti told Daniels he was “working on it” and suggested to her that the publishing company withhold funds from her because she did not meet the book’s publicity requirements.
Avenatti in November 2018 directed Daniels to compile a list of her promotional efforts so that he could send a letter demanding payment from the publisher.
Daniels testified that she did not know if he had sent the letter before.
Nor did she know at the time that he had received the payment in mid-September.
During the holidays in December 2018, Daniels pushed Avenatti to help pay, especially angry about her current personal situation with her then estranged husband.
“I’m stuck in this house with my ex until I get paid,” she wrote in a text message.
Avenatti is now representing himself, and Daniels cross-examined for 10 minutes before the trial was adjourned for the day.
In the briefing, Avenatti confirmed to Daniels that she believed she could talk to the dead and spoke to a doll named Susan on her show “Spooky Babes.” (Judge Jesse Forman ruled before the trial that Avenatti could inquire about her paranormal beliefs because they might speak up for their credibility.)
Avenatti also asked his ex-client if she thought she had a “perfect” memory, always telling the truth and taking contracts very seriously. Daniels agreed.
Avenatti asked Daniels to read parts of the attorney-client contract at the heart of the case. Part of the contract states that both parties can negotiate his compensation if a book deal is secured in the future. She emphasized that the document was their only written agreement and was never amended.
“Do you have a single text, email, voicemail, or recording that says I won’t take any money from your book deal — yes or no?”
She replied, “No.”
Daniels alleges Avenatti said he wouldn’t take any money from the book deal.
She cut ties in February 2019 when she found out he was stealing and she was arrested on charges three months later. Daniels says she received no compensation for the third down payment from the book that she allegedly redirected into his account and spent.
Daniels is expected to continue to testify at the cross-examination on Friday morning.
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